Former Slipknot drummer Joey Jordison dead, aged 46

Joey Jordison
(Image credit: Martin Philbey/Redferns)

Former Slipknot drummer, songwriter and founding band member, Joey Jordison has passed away, aged 46. Joey’s family released a statement confirming that the metal drumming icon died peacefully in his sleep on Monday, 26 July. 

It reads, “We are heartbroken to share the news that Joey Jordison, prolific drummer, musician and artist passed away peacefully in his sleep on July 26, 2021. He was 46.

“Joey’s death has left us with empty hearts and feelings of indescribable sorrow.
To those that knew Joey, understood his quick wit, his gentle personality, giant heart and his love for all things family and music.

“The family of Joey have asked that friends, fans and media understandably respect our need for privacy and peace at this incredibly difficult time. The family will hold a private funeral service and asks the media and public to respect their wishes.”

Joey rose to fame as a founding member of Slipknot, quickly gaining a reputation as one of the greatest drummers of his generation, and becoming one of the most influential metal drummers of all time thanks to his phenomenal hand and foot speed and ability to merge the drumming styles of heavy sub-genres in a hugely accessible way, topping polls - including MusicRadar’s own - on numerous occasions.

He remained in Slipknot until 2013, exiting the band due to suffering from acute transverse myelitis - a neurological condition affecting the spinal chord which left him unable to drum.

After considerable physical therapy, Jordison overcame the condition, returning with multiple projects including Vimic and Sinsaenum. In 2018, he told us he owed positivity, music and family to his recovery. 

“Positivity, man. Positivity, music and family. That was pretty much it, that was what got me through it. You’ve got to look at what the end goal is. There was no way that I was not going to perform anymore, there was no way that I was not going to play drums anymore. When you have that kind of feeling in your heart, nothing can break you.”

Away from Slipknot, Joey performed a number of guest slots with the likes of Otep, Korn, Satyricon and Rob Zombie, as well as taking the role of team captain for Roadrunner United - an all-star studio project celebrating the 25th anniversary of Roadrunner Records.

In 2004, Jordison was one of three drummers who stood-in for Lars Ulrich Metallica’s headlining Download set. Jordison triumphantly performed eight of the band’s 13-song set (Slayer’s Dave Lombardo and Metallica drum tech Flemming Larson covered the rest) after volunteering mere hours before the band were due to take the stage.

As well as his drumming, Jordison was an accomplished guitarist and bassist, composing and co-composing many Slipknot songs during his time in the band. He also went on to play guitar in horror-punk band, Murderdolls.

No formal comment has been made from Slipknot at the time of writing, however tributes are pouring in from Jordison’s fans and peers. 

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Stuart Williams

I'm a freelance member of the MusicRadar team, specialising in drum news, interviews and reviews. I formerly edited Rhythm and Total Guitar here in the UK and have been playing drums for more than 25 years (my arms are very tired). When I'm not working on the site, I can be found on my electronic kit at home, or gigging and depping in function bands and the odd original project.